Whatcom County has a proud tradition of families, farms and fish. We have a growing high-tech industry sector, we're investing in our colleges and universities, and we can all agree this is one of the most beautiful places anywhere.
I am running for State Representative in the 42nd District because as a father, husband, homeowner, business owner and advocate for water quality, I am 100 percent committed to protecting and strengthening this amazing place we call home.
As we all work hard to get through this recession, it's imperative we also plan for the future. We need to work for job creation, for education and for the fair treatment and equal opportunities that give everyone a real chance in life.
We need a path to prosperity. As your representative, my job would be to work with everyone in the county to define and make that path a reality.
Let me tell you a quick story. Like so many others, I came here for a great education at Western Washington University. Despite many hours in the library, there was still time to fall in love with Whatcom County. My girlfriend and I soon realized that Bellingham was the right place to call home. We got married, bought a house on Elizabeth Street, and have raised our daughter here. Just last week, my daughter started her first year at WWU -- we couldn't be prouder.
But through my day job, I know that many of the things I love here are threatened. When I found out that my opponent was running unopposed, I researched his record and discovered that he really isn't doing anything to positively impact and support our community. His voting record is unimpressive. I feel strongly that our representatives should be leaders who care deeply about the fate of our community, and work to protect it.
We need to provide the necessary infrastructure to make Whatcom a place where people want to bring their businesses, to bring jobs. We have an amazing opportunity with Bellingham's waterfront redevelopment to add a vital economic force to our region, and we also have a pioneering network of local businesses, committed to sustaining each other.
These are just a few of the unique aspects of our local economy that can provide a solid foundation for future growth. I firmly believe that we can do better than an 80-acre pile of coal at Cherry Point that would directly degrade our quality of life by impacting our fishing and tourism jobs, interfering with waterfront redevelopment and harming our reputation as a great place to live.
One thing I propose is that we create a "Made in Washington" purchasing policy, to guarantee that our tax dollars are spent right here. We shouldn't be shipping our money out of state, but instead, keep it in our communities where it can make a difference.
And remember that house on Elizabeth Street? My daughter's college bill for four years at WWU is just slightly less than that house cost. We need to give every kid a chance at higher education if they want it. When they start their lives and want to get married, or buy a house or a car, they shouldn't have to drag thousands of dollars in debt with them to an entry-level job. We can do better to fully fund quality higher education at a price that makes sense. We also have to commit to K-12 education to make sure that all kids have a chance at the same great experience my daughter had in the Bellingham Public Schools.
When I look at how important Olympia can be in our lives in encouraging economic development, helping keep tuition costs down, making sure everyone gets equal treatment and a living wage, protecting children and providing education, it worries me that our current representative isn't doing everything possible to support our community.
As your state Representative, I will be a champion for Whatcom County every day, making choices that strengthen our future -- for us and our children. Our families, fish and farms depend on it. Please consider voting for me to be your next state Representative.
Matt Krogh is the Democratic candidate for the Washington State House of Representatives, District 42, Position 2. Each of the 49 state legislative districts is represented by one senator and two representatives who vote on state laws and budgets. State representatives are elected every two years and are paid $42,106 annually. The state representatives from the 42nd District represent about 137,000 people in the northern half of Bellingham and Whatcom County north to the Canadian border. One candidate will win election in the Nov. 6 general election.